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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

DLF converts Mumbai mall project into residential one

DLF, the country’s largest realtor by market value, is planning to build a premium residential apartment complex at Worli in Mumbai instead of a high-end mall project, as demand for retail spaces has come down sharply, according to a company executive.
“We felt residential will do well here, and we will fix the price depending on market conditions,” he said. According to DLF website, the project is under “planning and development” under the high-end mall brand Emporio.
Rents of retail spaces are down by 25-30 per cent from their peak in 2007-08 as demand slowed. Though demand for office spaces have picked up slowly, property consultants expect lukewarm demand to continue for retail developments.
Worli, which was a former hub of textile mills, is witnessing modern office developments by realtors such as Indiabulls, Bombay Dyeing and Century Textiles, and residential apartments command a price of Rs 22,000 per sq ft and above.
DLF made news in 2005 when it bought a 17-acre Mumbai Textile Mill land from National Textile Corporation (NTC) for Rs 702 crore. The company at that time announced it would build a futuristic retail-cum-entertainment complex on the land.
The new project is expected to be launched in the next four-five months after taking all the necessary approvals, the executive said.
According to property consultants, the company changed the plan several times as real estate market went through a prolonged slowdown.
However, DLF is not alone which converted its mall project into a residential one. Host of others such as DB Realty in Dahisar area of Mumbai, West Pioneer in Kalyan near Mumbai and TTK group in Bangalore also changed their plans to build mall to apartment projects.
Apartment prices have risen 15-20 per cent since mid-2009 as home buyers returned to the market. Earlier, prices had declined by around 40 per cent as home buyers stayed away.
Buoyed by response for its apartment projects, DLF is expected to launch 8-10 new residential projects in the next one year, according to sources. DLF, which stalled some of its office projects during the slowdown, is planning to launch two-three commercial projects in Gurgaon and Hyderabad.
DLF today sold 1,200 units of independent floors in its Panchkula Valley housing project in Chandigarh within a week of its launch.

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